I have 2 rabbits and they poop a lots. I wonder if I can use rabbit manure for my garden.
Here what I found out.
Rabbit manure is an excellent source of nutrients for garden soil.
Organic fertilizer can help improve your soil and keep your plants nourished with nutrients.
However, organic fertilizers tend to run more expensive than inorganic fertilizers. So, rabbit owners often ask if rabbit poop will work as a vegetable garden fertilizer.
Rabbit poop works well as a vegetable garden fertilizer. It breaks down quickly and can be dropped straight into your garden without any processing. It also contains nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus which stimulate healthy plant growth.
Rabbit dung will not burn the roots of your plants, and it is odorless, dry and in pellet form which makes it perfect for your garden. You can purchase rabbit manure or use your own.
Rabbit poop can be used on your lawn, roses, vegetables, flower beds, and decorative plantings.
What is the NPK of Rabbit Manure?
NPK stands for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and is a percentage that represents how much of each nutrient a fertilizer contains.
Each macro-nutrient is essential to plants and if a plant does not have all three, it will fail.
For instance, Nitrogen helps will leave growth,
Phosphorus helps with root growth and flower and fruit development,
and Potassium assists in the overall functions of the plant.
NPK values do vary depending on the diet of each animal, and how long manure has sat before use.
Some sources will quote varied NPK levels, but the values give an average of each manure’s nutrient amount and can be compared to other animal NPK values for an overall view of nutrient quality.
Rabbit poop has an NPK value of 2.4 percent nitrogen, 1.4 percent phosphorus, and 0.6 percent potassium.
This means that rabbit manure is richer in nitrogen than most other animal manures like manure from a cow (0.6 percent), horse (0.7 percent), or even chicken manure (1.1 percent).
It is also very high in phosphorus compared to other animal manures. However, the amount of potassium is fairly average.
Leafy vegetables do well with a fertilizer high in nitrogen to encourage leaf growth.
Nitrogen also helps crops such as corn and tomatoes.
Phosphorus will help your plants convert solar energy to chemical energy and improve root growth to keep plants strong and able to tolerate stress better.
But, you should also get your soil tested before adding in fertilizer to determine what you will need to balance your garden’s soil.
Besides having very high NPK values, rabbit fertilizer also contains many micronutrients, microorganisms, and organic matter to improve your soil.
Rabbit Manure NPK Values Vs. Other Manures
Rabbit manure has significantly more nutrients than other manures and a higher NPK value for nitrogen and phosphorus, with a medium-to-high potassium percentage.
The higher the number, the more concentrated the nutrient is in the fertilizer.
For instance, rabbit manure has four times more nitrogen than cow manure and more than double the nitrogen than chicken manure.
It also has three-and-a-half times the amount of phosphorous compared to cow manure, and almost twice the amount of phosphorus compared to chicken manure. Plus, rabbit manure has a fairly average amount of potassium.
Here is the breakdown of the nutrients in each type of common animal manure:
|N : Nitrogen %
|P : Phosphorus %
|K : Potassium %
Note that too much of a good thing can be bad.
You will want to add rabbit manure to your soil, but not too much or you can actually damage your plants with excess nitrogen. This can cause too much foliage and loss of fruits or flowers.
See the section below for more information on how much rabbit manure you should add to your vegetable garden.
Additionally, rabbit manure is considered a “cold” manure,
can be used fresh, does not have to be composted to use in your garden like cow, horse and chicken manure do.
These other manures are considered “hot” fertilizers because they cannot be dropped into the garden immediately but require further processing.
How To Use Rabbit Poop As Fertilizer
If you are planning to use your own rabbit poop as a fertilizer, then you should collect the droppings daily. Collect your rabbit waste and add it to your garden every day, otherwise, the dung may collect maggots and become unusable.
You can easily collect rabbit dung by putting a plastic tub under your rabbit’s cage. You should not use a ton of bedding in your rabbit pans, other than hay.
However, if you do not have your own rabbits to source from, then you can purchase rabbit manure from either a local farmer or online. You can also check major garden stores, but they may not carry it.
As a “Cold Manure” Rabbit poop can be applied directly to your soil, does not need to be processed after it is collected.
You can apply it directly onto your soil with composting and it will decompose and slowly release its nutrients.
Some gardeners also bury their rabbit droppings into the soil a few inches to prevent flies, but you do not have to since the rabbit manure is odorless. Additionally, some gardeners prefer to compost rabbit pellets before adding them to their garden.
Another option to add rabbit pellets and their nutrients to your soil is through ‘bunny brew’ or ‘rabbit compost tea’. To make bunny brew, simply put a scoop of your rabbit pellets (about two cups) into a five-gallon bucket full of water.
Let it sit for three to five days, but keep the mixture covered. This works best in a warm, sunny spot. However, this mixture is a fly-magnet so keep it away from your house.
Once a day you’ll need to stir the bucket. Note that the pellets do not need to completely dissolve for this to work. After a few days, you can dump the water at the top of the bucket onto your plants and put the remaining manure into your compost pile.
It is up to you which method you choose to use, whether you drop rabbit dung directly into your garden, compost it, or make rabbit compost tea.
Rabbit droppings will take some time to release into the soil, but once they do it will fill your soil with nutrients.
How Much Rabbit Manure To Use In Garden
When top dressing your garden or adding just a thin layer of soil on top, you should keep it to half an inch to one inch thick. You also do not want the rabbit fertilizer pellets to touch your plants.
If you are adding rabbit manure to potted soil, you will only want to add in one or two handfuls and you will want to mix the soil with the pellets.
One average rabbit can make 200 to 300 poop pellets a day. That’s a lot of fertilizer! Smaller rabbits will produce less poop than larger ones.
However, an average rabbit weighing about 11 pounds produces one-half to one pound of manure every day but this can vary depending on size.
Some giant rabbits produce three pounds of manure a day, while smaller rabbits may produce only a quarter pound a day.
Additionally, rabbits that eat fresh grass will produce less manure than those on a diet of pellets and hay.
You can check the healthiness of your rabbit poop by checking its texture and color. Health rabbit poop is friable, or a stable form but will fall apart when under pressure.
As rabbit poop dries, it will become hard which means it is less suitable for your garden. The inside of a healthy rabbit poop pellet will contain chewed up hay.
Additionally, healthy rabbit poop is a light brown color. If your rabbit poop pellets are dark and moist your rabbits may be eating too much protein. Try switching up their diet and checking their poop pellets again after 48 hours.
If you are raising your own rabbits and have extra manure to spare, you can make a pretty penny off their poop. Rabbit manure sells for a decent amount because of how rich in nutrients it is.
Local farmers can sell rabbit manure for $5 to $15 a pound. You can sell rabbit manure at a local farmer’s market, wholesale, or even on eBay or Craigslist.
Rabbit manure is also great for earthworms who love it.
Earthworms are very beneficial to a vegetable garden because they tunnel, consume fungi and bacteria, and excrete vermicompost which is a potent soil amendment.
Precautions of Pathogens In Rabbit Manure
Humans are rarely affected by rabbit pathogens unless they have severe immune-compromised underlying conditions. Rabbit waste is not known to transmit any disease to humans.
Rabbit droppings also are not harmful to dogs. However, you may wish to take precautions to protect against pathogens in your rabbit fertilizer.
First of all, gardeners who are cautious about potential pathogens can put rabbit manure in a compost pile first as a precaution.
Another precaution you should remember is to let your rabbits mature for 120 days before using their manure for composting or fertilizer.
This can help prevent foodborne illness according to the Colorado State University Extension.
You can also use the rabbit pellets to fertilize the soil long before planting.
Adding the poop pellets 60 days before planting can help prevent harmful pathogens from being taken up into plant roots. Studies show that waiting 60 days between laying manure and planting significantly reduces the transmission of bacteria.
Additionally, after harvesting your vegetables always ensure to wash them thoroughly in a clean sink. Using diluted vinegar can also help remove fertilizer and dirt from your vegetables. Furthermore, only apply rabbit manure to the soil and never put it on plant leaves directly.
If you are concerned about pathogens in rabbit manure, also consider purchasing a rabbit fertilizer that is ready-to-use and has been tested for diseases.
But personally , I use fresh rabbit poop , just dump it into the gardens then cover with the soil and let them work.
Is Rabbit Poop Good For Root Vegetables (Like Potatoes)
Rabbit poop is less recommended for root crops because root crops rest within the soil.
This is because harmful pathogens can be absorbed into a plant’s roots from the fertilizer and studies show that rabbit poop does contain traces of E Coli.
This means any fertilizer needs to be well composted for root vegetables like potatoes.
However, you can still use rabbit poop on root vegetables if it is composted well or has had time to process. Additionally, two-year-old manure can work for root vegetables.
So, while rabbit poop is not necessarily good for root vegetables it can still provide beneficial nutrients if composted and processed correctly.
But typically rabbit manure is better for corn, peppers, peas, pumpkins, watermelons, leafy greens, and other above-ground vegetables than it is for potatoes and other root vegetables.
Bunny manure is a great fertilizer for your vegetable garden.
It’s higher in nutrients than many other common animal manures and it can be used straight away.
Rabbit fertilizer is full of nitrogen, which supports leafy plants, and it’s rich in potassium and phosphorous as well.
Plus,its manure is odorless which is a huge benefit compared to cow, pig, or horse manure.
However, it may contain harmful pathogens so many gardeners recommend composting it, turning it into ‘bunny brew’ or adding it to your soil two months before planting your crops to ensure enough time before bacteria like E Coli could end up in your vegetables.
Rabbit Droppings are good for gardening, and whether you have your own or purchase rabbit pellets they can help your vegetable garden grow with the nutrients your plants need.